SHERIDAN — Sheridan High School student Jessica Ross has returned from New Orleans where she was honored as a “Salute to Freedom” award winner at the National World War II Museum.
Ross, a ninth-grader, won the all expense paid trip to New Orleans for writing two essays on Wyoming’s contribution to World War II for the “Salute to Freedom” contest sponsored by The National World War II Museum. She was eligible to enter the contest after taking first place at Wyoming’s National History Day.
She traveled with her mother, Laurie, to New Orleans January 10-13. While there, she toured the World War II museum and also participated in the opening of the new U.S. Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center.
“On Friday night I attended a VIP gala in which Tom Brokaw, the emcee, recognized the attendees from every state,” Ross said. “On Saturday, I participated in the Grand Opening Ceremony of the US Freedom Pavilion (The Boeing Center) at the National World War II Museum. Each state (award winner) was assigned a WWII Veteran to escort into the ceremony as well as present their state flags. The WWII veteran I escorted was Herman ‘Dutch’ Prager.”
In addition to official ceremonies and duties, Ross and her mother had time to explore the city of New Orleans.
“My favorite part of the trip was visiting the French Quarter of New Orleans and experiencing the different culture,” Ross said. “This experience is something that I will never forget and was very empowering and fascinating. It offered many opportunities to further my World War II education as well as experience New Orleans. Not only was I able to learn extensively about World War II, I was able to learn about New Orleans as well, and see the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.”